- Define the Business Problem
First of all, a company should have complete knowledge of its problem that is interfering with its business and causing problems. After that, they should find out a solution and consider RFID the solution. Sometimes the problem is quite simple so we don’t give it much thought. E.g. when I need my items I couldn’t find them. Now first we need to find the basic reason which is causing this problem and consider all the issues that are happening due to this. This the most basic and important step. A clear cut and precise solution exist for a problem that is defined well and properly. It can help the company to achieve its goals. If a problem is explained properly and well, it’ll be easier to find its solution. This will save your time, cash and resources. This will also find out that if you need the RFID for the procedure of the solution.
2.) Complete Internal RFID Testing (or hire an RFID expert to complete a site survey)
There are different accommodations where we can run the RFID system. All the accommodations are very different from each other. We can distinguish them based on factors that are related to the environment. This factor plays a crucial role in running the perfect FID system. There are certainly important questions need to be answered. To operate a survey on the site, consult someone who is a professional of RFID. You can also perform a test that is done individually. To answer the important questions, a thorough examination of every red zone should be done. Questions are:
- If we install the RFID system, what are the types of challenges that don’t require a need to overcome anymore?
- To acquire the goals of the company, what type of people of reading, labels, and projections will be needed?
- If you want to make sure that labels of RFID can be read properly, what alterations need to be done?
Establish a Business Case (i.e. determine the cost of an RFID solution and complete an ROI assessment) After performing all the basic tasks i.e. complete description of the solution of the problem related to business, goal setting and organizing surveys of sites and testing, a company must have a complete knowledge and information regarding to the cost that is needed by it. If you bought the important hardware, software, got done any installment and support, or any additional services that are needed to make the system work efficiently, the cost of all of these things should be included in the estimated budget, even if they are bought from the internal or external source. When you are estimating the ROI analysis cost, the setup for the initial system vs. the cost that is going on potentially which includes labels of RFID, etc., must be given attention especially. An assessment of ROI which also includes the estimation of the costs for the implementation of the system vs. the return from an investment that is hoped must be completed properly.
3.) Determine Feasibility
The RFID is sometimes not appropriate for a precise application. This happens mainly for 2 reasons:
- Possibility of the Application: If we see this from a physics or environmental viewpoint, it is not practically possible to install a system of RFID which is very capable of reading the labels of RFID with so success so that it’ll reach the goals of the company.
- Possibility of the ROI/Cost: We might think that if RFID is not working well for the application, we should try ROI. But ROI isn’t good enough either to imply the technology or justify it.
Is there a chance RFID won’t work for me?
Yes. This not right to think that RFID is the answer to all the questions of application. By looking through the viewpoint of the environmental factor, the application should be applicable. It should also meet the cost perception. We can view this through the example. If the labels of RFID could be damaged by the high temperature or pressure or if the cost of the RFID system offset the added value, then under these circumstances, RFID must not be applied. Normally these situations are considered from a business viewpoint or in the process of scope.
How much will an RFID system cost?
RFID system comes in very different sizes. It can be as small as the reader that can be hand held or can be as large as from few labels to readers and antennas of hundreds and sometimes there could be a thousand tags. So there isn’t one particular cost. If you want to know the exact price, analysis needs to be performed. If you want to have an approximate value for the precise system, consider the 2 factors i.e. costs of near term and costs of the long term.
In any system of RFID, there is a cataloging of costs which are two. They are startup cost also known as the near term and recurring cost also called the long term. To keep the RFID system active and in succession, money is needed. This amount of money that is spent is called start up cost. It also helps to get it to combine with other systems that are running. To make the whole system working properly, money is needed. That cost is called a recurring cost. They recur weekly, monthly and yearly.
To know properly, here are some examples of start up cost:
- The hardware of RFID- something which reads, projections, shackles
- Tags of RFID- There are some tags which are reusable or some are for one time
- Software- Traditional formation of costs and/or starting license cost
- Amenities- Installment and analysis
- Here are some examples of recurring cost:
- Contract of Support- To get support for a specific period for the sake of the system
- Software- Fees for maintenance required annually
- Consumable supplies- Labels of RFID, a ribbon of printer
Can I try RFID before investing in a full system?
If you want to examine the RFID, there are some kits for the development of RFID and sample packets for labels of RFID. These are the ideal way to do the testing of RFID and check if it is working well for a specific application. There is also an availability of the solutions for RFID but they can be very costly. So performing the testing on a small scale and doing it properly is the best way to save you time and money.
All the basic equipment of RFID that is required to do the set-up and to do the testing of the system of RFID, is included in the kits for development. Certain things are included in the development kit of RFID. These are reader, more than one projections, and few labels for samples, reading’s sample program, encrypting and examining the labels of RFID and also the entree to the software development kit of the reader.
To do the testing of the labels of the RFID in a way that is effective in a cost manner, use the label sample packets of RFID. This way you can find the precise one for each application. It is an important chore to do the examining of the several types of labels. It is done so that RFID can give its best presentation.
What do I need for a full RFID system?
There are some basic elements present in the RFID system:
- Readers- This is the most crucial equipment. It is called the RFID system’s BRAIN. It is required to perform the function properly. They are also known as the interrogators. They are also used to connect with the labels of the RFID. The connection is done through radio waves.
- Projections- These are also the essential component of the RFID. They are also sometimes referred to as devices that are dumb. This is because they create the field of RF by using the energy from the reader. By doing so the reader can receive and transfer the signals from the labels of the RFID.
- Labels: If we consider the simplest form of the label of RFID, we’ll see that it consists of two things: a projection that is used to transfer and receive the signals and a chip of RFID in which the ID of the label is safe. It also stores the other information.
- Software: This thing is very crucial to the system of RFID. To activate the reader and start its communication with the labels of the RFID, you’ll need the software. To make the final and appropriate decisions, data that is collected is read by the labels. Then they are presented, delivered and kept safe. They are also used to activate the systems so they can take the action they have pre-planned. Sometimes software differs on the base of its complexity. This all depends upon the application that is being used.
There are some other things other than basic equipment. These additional equipment include heap light, sensors for motion and some other GPIO devices. It depends upon the system that how much and what type of hardware and software are needed by it.
How do I choose my RFID hardware?
RFID hardware is present in a vast variety and easily available. There are some environmental conditions in which certain types of these parts of the RFID are best to use. So you need to choose the right equipment. This process can be tiresome sometimes. If you need to make sure of the success, perform the hard testing. Do this testing once the selection is done. In the process of selection, there is some availability of the resources that are mentioned below:
- Buyer’s Guide for Telemecanique RFID- If you don’t have enough knowledge in the buying area, you’ll need a buyer’s guide for Telemecanique RFID. This is an eBook which comprises of total 24 questions. These questions will help the buyer in the buying process. If you’ll answer each question it will help you to know what kind of hardware is you need. Through this, you’ll be able to make a proper decision.
- Selection Process for UHF Telemecanique RFID reader- If you are choosing the reader of Telemecanique RFID, you must know the 3 factors. This post which is on a blog will help you in providing knowledge of these factors.
- 3 Guidelines for Choosing a Passive UHF Telemecanique RFID Antenna- When you are selecting a projection for Telemecanique RFID, you must know the 3 factors. This knowledge is provided to you by the post which is on the blog.
- Cables of Antenna for Telemecanique RFID- Through this, the maximum performance is achieved. To connect the projection and the reader, the cable of the antenna is required by the system of the Telemecanique RFID. To choose the best cable of the antenna, use this post which is posted on the blog. It will help you in providing the knowledge you need to buy the perfect cables.
How do I choose RFID labels?
There is a wide variety of labels present in the market place. You need to choose the correct label for your application to get proper work done. This task of choosing may seem a little overwhelmed. This process is almost as same as choosing the right hardware for RFID. You make the right choice by following and using the criteria, which are made for this purpose. You can narrow down your choices through this. Always remember to do proper testing when you are done with the choosing of the tags. There are some resources which will help in the choosing process:
- Guide of RFID for Buyer- If you don’t have enough knowledge in the buying area, you’ll need a buyer’s guide for RFID. This is an eBook which comprises of total 24 questions. These questions will help the buyer in the buying process. If you’ll answer each question it will help you to know what kind of hardware is you need. Through this, you’ll be able to make a proper decision.
- 3 Things to Know about UHF RFID Tags- When you are selecting a label for RFID, you must know the 3 factors. This knowledge is provided to you by the post which is on the blog.
Can I get RFID tags pre-printed and pre-encoded?
The answer to this question is YES. If you want to save the time and cost of your company you should pre-print and pre-encode the labels of RFID. This process of printing and encoding is a customized process. It takes extra time sometimes to order.
What sort of software will I need for my RFID system?
The software you’ll need for the RFID system is known as the off-the-shelf software package abbreviated as OTS. This is a solution to your software problem. This is easily available in the market for the purchase. As the market place is getting advanced, the availability of the software is becoming easy for the application of RFID. In the meantime, the need for customized software solution will arise by most of the companies.
The software that is customized has different complexity levels. This depends upon the requirement of the company. As seen in many cases, we should always start with the most basic function of the software. Doing this, also make the software capable of having all the necessary features and functions for the future to get the desired work. The software is upgraded with the application. This method might be slow but it has its perks. It helps to know about the details of the application. It also helps in determining what properties and functions are most useable.
Can I set up an RFID system without the software?
No. It doesn’t matter if the system of RFID you are using is a small one, the insertion of the software is a necessity. Software is required for very basic functions. Such as the function of the reading and label writing is not possible without software. If the software is not present for this, the reader will not know about writing a label or which label is read to report the system.
The software has different levels of complexity. It can be both simple and complex. At the start of the project when it is scouring period, it should be the topmost priority to explain the need for software. There is some software which is available commercially is called off-the-shelf software. In this are included Impinj Speedway Connect Software. Now, these are used when they are required. Sometimes only these are needed. Sometimes the specific demands are fulfilled with the simple software. This development of customized software is required.
Do I need a software engineer on staff?
It is not a requirement to have a software engineer in the staff when you are applying the RFID. If the problem of the business is explained clearly and its scope of the project, they can use customized software that is available in the market. If you are using the customized software that is available commercially and still your needs are not met, the next best step will be the use of software engineers. It doesn’t matter if you have hired the software engineer from your already appointed people or someone new from outside. The important thing is the quality of work. You’ll need that engineer to make a customized software that is necessary for the proper working of the RFID system.
Who installs the RFID system?
If the RFID system has a practical team in their department of purchasing, who have the complete knowledge of the RFID, they must know how to install the RFID system and do its proper testing. If the team doesn’t have enough experience and practical knowledge and has less ability, there might be a possibility that the setup that has been installed could be incorrect and you may not get the required results.
The company should hire or become a partner with professionals of RFID to make sure that RFID is installed perfectly. Do this when you don’t have the confidence in your team about the installation process of RFID.
Is there a recommended way to set up RFID hardware and get started?
There isn’t one precise way of setting up an RFID system. This is because each facility is unique. Also, there is no assurance that you’ll get the desired result. The best way of making a perfect installation is giving time to testing and tweaking process until:
- Labels are not read 100% when they should be giving their 100%
- Readings that are lost are usually avoided (They come from different areas)
Many aspects are involved in the explaining of the read zone that is ideal for a specific application. These aspects include the setting of the readers, projection gain and selection of the labels of the RFID. You can have more knowledge about this if you’ll read the 6 factors. These factors are those that have an effect on the range of reading.
There is no assurance that when a unique zone will have replication during the procedure. This happens because even when there is a small alteration, it will have a huge effect on the system of the RFID. The zone of reading which is additional can have testing and tuning from the setup of an already well-tuned read zone which is acting as the starting point.
So the answer to this question is No, there is no ideal way to install RFID hardware setup. Every situation is unique and has a requirement for complete testing. Here are some tips which will help in setting the RFID system for beginners:
The loss of the cable can be reduced by decreasing the projection length that is required. This can happen by keeping the reader of the RFID and projection very close to each other
If you want the finest results, do the testing of the several locations and also the angle of the projections during the procedure of placing the antenna for RFID. Benefits can be increased if you’ll increase different projection types testing. Don’t go straightly for the label that works for the RRFID system in the first try. Find the ideal label by testing several different types.
Also, go for the testing of several different settings. You might get the one where the system of RFID works best.
How many read zones are needed and where will they be located?
It is important to collect the data. So, the zone of reading of the RFID should be placed at every point.
If there is a closet for accounts and you need to do the scanning of the items, one of the best setups will be the portal type setup. In this, this setup is arranged at the door of the docks where items are read during going in and out. This might be a suitable solution. There is another solution and that is called the single handheld reader of the RFID. It can also be a good fit.
If you want to know the exact and precise location of every item that is present on the floor of the facility, at different stages of the procedure of manufacturing, install the read zones. There are some companies whose only interest is to know the location of the item that is present in the facility. For this purpose install the read zones only at the entrance and exit of the facility.
There is also a type of application. On this, the number of reading zones that are needed and the location of these read zones is depended. They are also dependent upon the quantity of the data you are going to need to get the results you need.
There are items in my facility that contain liquids/metals; does that mean RFID will not work for me?
Testing in RFID application is the key. There are many methods and applications that can be sued for checking the interference of mitigation between metal and water.
If you got limitations in your system like tagging or other environmental concerns then you should not depend on RFID application entirely.
All these limitations should be checked properly and these techniques and procedures need to be tested using the specific equipment. Tag will be specific for each and every item. On the other hand some of the applications might need multiple tags for making it worth.’
Read more about multiple path issues caused by metal and water.
What if I want to use RFID in my facility for more than one application? Should I have separate RFID systems?
The answer to this question depends on the case of study. If systems need to be combined then combine them together for making it worthwhile. On the other hand if you case state that you should be standalone in your business strategy then make it separate.
So scoping phase of the program determines the New RFID separate or combined system for working.
How long does a typical RFID system take to deploy?
Type and complexity of RFID applications determines its timeline. All-in-one RFID hardware system can be purchased and used in just a few weeks. It is commercially available.
A customized RFID system which solves all customer related problem and tackle complex issues take an intensive testing and a period of almost 6-12 months for its deployment.
Following are some of the stages which are needed for the deployment of an RFID system:
- Defining the business problem
- Establishing the Business Case
- Project Scoping
- Understanding the potential and limitations of RFID technology
- Defining the project objectives
- Analysis of Existing System
- Collecting information
- Information analysis
- Developing a Project Road Map
- System Designing
- Requirement analysis
- Hardware/software selection
- Developing a new process
- Proof of Concept
- Prototype Testing
- System Adaptation
- Pilot Implementation
- Full Implementation
- System deployment
- Continuous Improvement
- Collect feedback from users
How do I train my employees on RFID?
If any company wants to implement a RFID system in its technology then it needs to properly train its employees. Training include its usage,procedure and limitations.
Two or three persons from your company should be designated as RFID experts which are given extensive training of RFID applications by the third party. If you train you company employers well about the RFID system then there will be less errors and problems in your system. System deployment will be more easy.
When will I see a return on investment from my RFID system? Time difference in purchasing any RFID application and getting profit from it vary from every company to company.
Ideally any company assess all the aspects and points very carefully before implementing any RFID system in its company.
Value a system add into ROI application tells you how fast you will gain profit. Cost and rate of return of investment determines the payback from the system. If you implement your system properly it will give back you profit in 1-3 years of time period.
Where I can learn more about the RFID?
There are many books available online to read more about the RFID system. Following are the available resources for studying in detail about the RFID system:
It is a website comprised of all the news around the world for the RFID deployment.
- RFIDinsider Blog
It is a RFID blog which includes all the beginners,medium and expert level enthusiasm for the RFID system application.
- RFID Resources
atlas RFID store is a website comprised of ebooks, videos and customer profiles for the enhancement of the RFID knowledge.
- RFID Videos
atlas RFID store you-tube page contains videos about the RFID working,products and tutorials.
Ecocircuitbreaker.com carry the following items: